Trail of tears.

Last week Lindsey surprised me with a trip to a local park for our workout. I went to her place and we loaded up her sweet dogs Oscar and Hannah in the car and off we went. For those of you who are local it was Woodland Mound just off of old Kellogg Avenue.

I had my apprehensions and sometimes just like Tristan, change of routine seems hard for me. I trust in Lindsey though and know that while it might be hard, it will probably be something I end up loving. ..although there ARE exceptions to that, like walking lunges!  We park and gather the dogs heading off down a paved road as the sun begins to beat down on my face. We have barely started to walk and Linds asks me if I am ready to run. Yes, I am ready to run. My feet hit the pavement and I try to find my pace and think about my breathing. I have no music to listen to so I know I have to focus and go with it….I hear my feet hit the pavement, I hear the sound my shoes make marking time as I make my way down the road. I am running. Not for 30 seconds at a time, not panting deliriously like I might collapse at any second, nor am I uncomfortable or hating it. We pass a group of men playing horseshoes, no one stares or gawks or says anything to me. I am running. I ask how long we have been going and the reply is 8 minuets, Linds said lets shoot for 10, I say lets shoot for 12. Her smile is big and I know she understands what that means, I am on board to push through, I get what it means to want it more than the antagonist of the story screaming at me inside my head to give up.  I push through to 12 minuets.

We walk for a bit then take a moment to enjoy the amazing view looking down on the river, so much calm and stillness the beauty is breathtaking and in that moment I truly understand why Jessica loves to run outside so much. We press on to a trail that winds into the woods, with stops every so often at exercise stations. We run through the trees which are a canopy of cover from the sun and natures own way of saying welcome to this place. I don’t know that we have done anything that I have loved more, feeling my body move through the space with lush green around me and the dirt and rocks under my feet. I feel the sweat run down my face and back never before feeling as alive and powerful as I do in those moments, having control of my body and being so connected to the breath raging inside my chest.

It does not hit me until I am driving home and the tears spill over my cheeks with wild abandon. I weep for the pain of so many years of abusing my body, confining it like a neglected dog that is chained up and ignored. I cry for all the names I have ever been called in the past as I would pass groups of people being made to feel worthless and ashamed, draped in their looks and snickers of disgust. Most of the tears that come though are filled with such happiness and relief that the past is behind me. It is a new day now where I have a choice to move in a different direction, and I choose to run down the path at Woodland Mound with two dogs named Oscar and Hannah and a dear friend who leads me on.


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